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Seal impression (cast), of Guardians of Scotland

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Seal impression (cast), of Guardians of Scotland
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This is a 19th century sulphur cast of a seal impression. The impression was made from the reverse of the Great Seal of the Guardians of Scotland dating from around 1286.

The seal depicts Saint Andrew on the saltire cross (a cross in an X shape), on which he was reputedly crucified. The background is filled with trefoils. The gold border is modern cardboard trim.

Seals were used extensively from the 12th century in Scotland by kings, clergy, nobles and towns. In a society where few people could read or write, they provided evidence that documents were authentic. Great Seals were used primarily for grants of lands.

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